There's Nothing Mellow About Sharp's New Marketing Mix by pengtt


									There’s Nothing Mellow About Sharp’s New Marketing Mix
By Allison Enright, managing editor

Sharp Electronics’ latest marketing campaign is “as big as it’s been in a long time,” says Neal
Lattner, senior director of marketing at the Mahwah, N.J.-based company. With the integrated
campaign, which debuted in mid-March, the company also is taking its first stab at using social
media, paid search and psychographic ad placements based on declared interests.

Sharp’s new marketing mix was developed to support the launch of the company’s Quattron
technology for its AQUOS TV line, which adds the color yellow to the standard pixel palette of
red, green and blue. The company uses the tagline “You have to see it to see it” to help explain
the visual difference this new color usage will bring to the TV-viewing experience.

A teaser TV and print campaign (featuring pop-culture icon and actor George Takei as a Sharp
engineer) launched in March. It will be followed by more explanatory advertisements about
Quattron in late April, at about the time the TVs will be available for sale at most electronics
retailers. “The approach we took came from research from past campaigns that [said] TV and
video are the best way to communicate the platform. It’s about showing and educating
[consumers] as a first step with video, print and online to get people to the retailer,” Lattner says.

Once at the retailer, the in-store elements of the marketing mix are tailored to maximize the “You
have to see it to see it” idea. Sharp is putting significant resources toward training sales
associates and constructing interactive educational end-cap displays. One of the promotional
materials, for example, is a magnifying glass that, when held up in front of a Sharp AQUOS TV
screen, reveals the yellow color pixel that’s missing in competitors’ TVs. “We know that when you
go to retail and see a big wall of televisions, it’s hard to know the difference. … With the eye test,
consumers will be able to immediately tell that the fourth pixel is there [and that] other TVs don’t
have it,” Lattner says.

Sharp’s first foray into social media also is helping to spread the word and Lattner thinks it proved
its worth just days after the campaign launch, although buzz about the launch actually started in
January as information about Quattron filtered out from the Consumer Electronics Show. To fans
of Sharp products, “we’ve been feeding bits and pieces about what happened at CES, about the
campaign coming out and about the next commercial” through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube,
he says. The Sharp enthusiast community—which includes people who had registered for
information from Sharp— also got to preview the George Takei TV ad a day before it aired on
television. Within three days, the ad had been viewed more than 100,000 times via Sharp’s
dedicated YouTube channel. “We are really organically growing the business in social media. …
It’s all about starting the conversation,” Lattner says.

All the marketing mix elements, of course, are being tracked and the data that’s filtering in may
help guide Sharp’s next moves. While a lot of the brand campaign elements are coming from
company headquarters in Japan, Sharp’s marketers are watching—and participating in—the

Marketing News Exclusives                                                       April 1, 2010
social media-driven conversations and the information coming from them will help them reallocate
resources locally. “A lot of learning came out of this first teaser,” Lattner says.

Lattner also is using a full suite of measurement devices to track e-mail effectiveness and is using
Google Analytics to watch the Web. “If I run a commercial tomorrow night, am I spiking [in Web
searches] then? Did they sign up for information? I can see engagement … and can match it [to a
particular investment],” he says. Because Sharp relies on retailers for its sales, the company’s
success metrics are more about the interaction levels it can show to retailers. “The ROI is really
by the number of engagements, impressions and clicks that we can turn over to the retailer. We
can go to a retailer in a particular area and show that we had 1,000 people in that area sign up for
[the new product information] and say, ‘I hope you are well-stocked’ or ‘Check your inventory.’ ”

Marketing News Exclusives                                                     April 1, 2010

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